Market overview

Brazil has risen from relative obscurity to become one of the biggest, most important and fastest growing economies in the world. Massively popular with tourists, investors and those with business interests alike, Brazil boasts everything from beautiful beaches to a booming housing market that somehow managed to sidestep the crash industry experts insisted was on its way.

Of course, the fact that the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games will both be heading to Brazil hasn’t exactly harmed the country’s exposure and its appeal to investors alike. There are big things happening across Brazil already and even bigger things to come over the next few years – it’s a prime choice for many investors right now who’ve set their sights on what’s been tipped as a unique opportunity.

The Selling Process

Find legal representation

There are several professionals you should ideally deal with.

  • A Public Notary(Escribão) - Brazilian notaries are neutral government representatives who act as witnesses to and registrars of transactions. Only deeds of sale (escrituras) witnessed and authorised by a notary can be registered at the land registry. He or she will prepare all the paperwork. The notary also will conduct title searches and make sure the appropriate property taxes are paid on time. Your agent will be able to put you in contact with the notaries they use regularly.
  • A reputable, English-speaking Brazilian solicitor – You will  to find an independent lawyer to represent your interests and offer impartial advice on the international dimensions of the sale and on UK taxation. If you are not in Brazil, you will need to grant them power of attorney. Your solicitor will then be able to obtain a CPF number for you and open a Brazilian bankaccount on your behalf. 


Once all the necessary legal checks have been completed to the satisfaction of the buyer, you will be ready to sign a private sales contract.

Before this stage you should have had the contract translated into English and ideally have English-speaking assistance on hand during the signing. The contract is prepared by the selling broker and signed at the office of the broker.

Preliminary agreement

Once you’ve agreed on a price with the purchaser, they will need to make a verbal offer through the estate agent. Your lawyer will oversee proceedings, including any deposit or reservation payments and the formal agreement of final purchase price.

Legal searches

You should now instruct your solicitor (advogado) to undertake various essential legal investigations on the property to start the conveyancing process. These checks will include:

    • Applying for a certificate issued by the Real Estate Registry Office (Cartorio de Registro de Imoveis) called the Certidao de Onus reais (or Certidao de Inteiro Teor), which will detail the property’s entire ownership history. 

Through this document your lawyer can ascertain whether the vendor actually owns the property and has legal authority to sell it. 

  • Your lawyer will also confirm whether there are any remaining charges or mortgages on the property, or any outstanding taxes or utility bills to be paid.

It is very important to ensure that any property you buy has a clear title.


The preliminary agreement commits both buyer and vendor to complete the transaction and at this point the buyer must pay a deposit which will be forfeited if the buyer walks away from the deal subsequently. However, if the vendorreneges on the deal at a later date, the vendor must repay the buyer twice the value of the deposit in compensation.


After all the legal paperwork has been completed, you will be ready to sign the deed of sale (escrituras). This is the moment when ownership of the property passes from vendor to buyer. A notary (escribão) must be present at this event to draft the document, then formally witness and register the transfer of ownership on behalf of the Brazilian government. 

Both parties will need to provide passports or other proof of identity and, unless you speak good Portuguese, the notary will insist that a translator is present to ensure you understand the full implications of the contract you are entering into.

Land registry

Upon completion, the buyer must pay the balance of the purchase price, allprofessional fees, transfer taxes andnotary fees.Copies of the deeds are then sent to the local land registry and a legal copy of all documentation will be givento each party.

Average selling prices


1 Bed Apartments


2 Bed Apartments


3 Bed Apartments


2 Bed Homes


3 Bed Homes


4 Bed Homes



Contract checklist

Your contract should include the following information


Purchase price How and when the amount should be paid Fixtures and fittings included in the sale Completion date when the deeds will be signed


Photos: Alcindo Correa Filho

Are you looking to buy property in Brazil ? Florianópolis , Bahia , Cabo De Santo Agostinho , João Pessoa , Rio De Janeiro

Are you looking to rent property in Brazil ? Rio De Janeiro , Florianópolis , Rio , Salvador , São Paulo


  1. avatar
    Carol McDonald